UNDP to introduce jute-polymer bags

Picture showing jute polymer bags known as Sonali bagsFille photo

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangladesh, marking World Environment Day 2023, has introduced jute-polymer-based biodegradable, eco-friendly bags invented by the Bangladeshi scientist Mubarak Ahmad Khan, for the UN staff members in Bangladesh, reports UNB.

The bag is also known as ‘Sonali Bag’. “As UN entities, it is our responsibility to promote sustainable practices,” UNDP Resident Representative Stefan Liller said.

“By promoting the use of biodegradable alternatives to plastic bags among UN staff, we hope to set an example for others to follow,” Stefan added.

This year’s theme for World Environment Day on 5 June is to explore solutions to plastic pollution under the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution.

Eminent scientist Mubarak Ahmed Khan, the scientific adviser to Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation and also the former Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and former director general of the Atomic Energy Research, successfully developed a biodegradable polymer from jute fibre in 2017.

Following the trial, the Sonali bag drew global attention because of its being environment-friendly.

“Jute polybag or Sonali bag from jute cellulose has come far after the invention,” Mubarak said. “We are now researching and exploring other areas of use for this polymer.”

“The world has now reached a point where it has become imperative to take steps to stop the use of single-use plastic. If we act now, then maybe we can think of a future. If we don’t, then there will be no future."

"I am glad to know that the UNDP has taken the initiative to not only raise awareness on plastic pollution but also give an alternative on this Environment Day,” Mubarak added.

By the end of 2024, UN Member States are expected to complete the negotiation of a global deal to end plastic pollution under the resolution called titled “End plastic pollution: Towards an International legally binding instrument.”